Moving without Exercising


This past weekend I spent at least 5 hours in my garden shoveling and raking.  I would have kept going since I love it so much, but at a certain point in the evening you’ve just got to go inside.  I was rewarded with sore muscles all over my ribs, one of those areas were I rarely have sore muscles.

It reminded me of the random sore back muscles I get from a kickboxing class that always surprise me.  Gardening provides all the benefits of  exercise, but I’d never consider gardening to be exercise, I just consider it fun.

One self-monitoring tool I use is tracking my physical activity on a calendar.  I like seeing the days fill up with all the activities I’ve done.  Sure, I write down when I go for a run, attend a Green Mountain fitness class, or an evening yoga class, but I also write in gardening, walking my dog, and soon I’ll be making note of when I go to ballet class (starting tonight!).  I’m learning that if I intentionally seek out activities that keep me moving: dance class, adopting dogs, making my garden bigger each year, milling my grains and coffee by hand, etc… I’m more committed to moving than if I wrote out the worlds best exercise schedule on paper with the intent to follow it.

What activities or hobbies have you found that bring you joy and keep you moving?

7 responses to “Moving without Exercising”

  1. This week it is walking on the beach. The pure joy of being outdoors, watching the ocean waves, & finding shells…. amazing. The calorie burn? Who cares! I’m just enjoying moving my body. THIS is what exercise should be about… pure bliss, without the numbers.

  2. Shannon says:

    This post is very timely for me. I have been struggling with not falling into the “shoulds” of exercise and just enjoying the body movement and strength I am gaining. I never thought to give myself credit for other physical activites beyond structured workouts. I think chasing after my 9 month old certainly counts!

  3. Robyn says:

    Shannon, a 9 month old is a better workout than any class at the gym!

    Eating As a Path… – Agreed! I also wish I lived closer to the shore, I could use a walk on the beach right now.

  4. Kari says:

    I can’t even tell you how many times I wrote down a schedule and not followed it-there is still one hanging on my fridge now. But I found just walking to the park does it for me rather than being stuck doing repetitive exercises on a machine. I learned to love the outdoors just by really enjoying nature and looking around me rather than just passing by it grumbling it was exercise.
    I also hike, take my dog for long walks and hopefully once I get a garden I will have a chance to grow my own veggies. 🙂 When I was younger I used to love to dance just for the heck of it. Found myself alone at home and would just dance as I did my housework. That’s a way to bare the boredom of dusting I suppose..hehe.

  5. Sarah says:

    I love gardening! But it’s still a chore. I love your idea to keep track of gardening just like regular exercise, I will try that in the next two months as we have to redo our lawn from scratch. I’ll probably have less time for exercise so this will make me feel better about it (I hope!).

  6. Gardening. I love working out in my yard, tending the vegetables, fruits and herbs I have planted. Nothing better than that. And anything involving my dogs; the dog park, hikes, walks, etc., I love that, too!

  7. Robyn says:

    Sounds like you are all a very active bunch who know how to pick things that make you happy and keep you moving. @ Jonathan & Kari – I love anything involving dogs too. I’m looking forward to adopting a puppy in the next few weeks and I expect she’ll keep me on my toes! @ Sarah – good luck with your project; redoing an entire lawn sounds like hard work, but I bet it will be so rewarding.

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